Gameday

Phillies open highly-anticipated 2019 campaign against Braves



Aaron Nola will toe the rubber for the Phillies on Opening Day. (Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

Gone are the days of waiting for Bryce Harper to sign. Gone are the days of rebuilding. Gone is offseason. Phillies baseball is back.

The 2019 Philadelphia Phillies take the field today for the first time in regular season action against the reigning National League East champion Atlanta Braves. The 80-82 record from a season ago in Philadelphia is all but a distant memory as the new-look roster gets set to start the season off on a high note. 2019 Opening Day could very well be the hottest ticket on the market since the 2011 playoffs in Philadelphia.

At the end of the 2018 season, the Phillies were fielding a team that included Carlos Santana, Wilson Ramos, Jose Bautista and Jorge Alfaro. Now, they are armed with the likes of new additions Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen. That’s already on top of the promising young talent on the roster in Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola and Nick Pivetta among others. Safe to say that they are in much better shape now than they were at any point during the 2018 season.

The Phillies will send ace Aaron Nola to the mound to open the season at Citizens Bank Bark. The 25-year-old right-hander is coming off a spectacular 2018 campaign that saw him place third in National League Cy Young voting after posting a 17-6 record to go along with an ERA of 2.37 and a 0.97 WHIP. Last season, Nola started five games against the Braves, going 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA, fanning 23 in 31.1 innings of work. Meanwhile, Atlanta is going with Julio Teheran on Opening Day. Teheran has been at the top of the Braves rotation for the past few years now, but struggled against the Phillies last season. In four starts, spanning 21 innings, he gave up 12 runs on 16 hits.

Phillies Lineup

  1. Andrew McCutchen (LF)
  2. Jean Segura (SS)
  3. Bryce Harper (RF)
  4. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
  5. J.T. Realmuto (C)
  6. Odubel Herrera (CF)
  7. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
  8. Maikel Franco (3B)
  9. Aaron Nola (RHP)

Braves Lineup

  1. Ender Inciarte (LF)
  2. Josh Donaldson (3B)
  3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
  4. Ronald Acuna Jr. (CF)
  5. Nick Markakis (RF)
  6. Ozzie Albeis (2B)
  7. Brian McCann (C)
  8. Dansby Swanson (SS)
  9. Julio Teheran (RHP)

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Aaron Nola (2018: 17-6, 2.37) vs. Julio Teheran (2018: 9-9, 3.94)
  • Nola career stats vs. Braves: 12 GS, 7-3, 2.09 ERA
  • Teheran career stats vs. Phillies: 23 G, 22 GS, 9-6, 3.65 ERA

Pregame Phillies Nuggets

  • Despite their new additions to the lineup, the Phillies continue to struggle with plate discipline. They led Major League Baseball in strikeouts during Spring Training with 322.
  • In 2018, the Braves won the season series against the Phillies, 12-7. The two teams squared off over Opening Weekend last season as well, with the Braves taking two out of three in Atlanta. The Phillies finished off the season winning two out of three against the Braves in Philadelphia.
  • The current Braves roster has a combined .229 average against Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola. Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman lead the way with a combined three doubles, three home runs and nine RBI. Meanwhile, the Phillies have a combined .274/.360/.545 slash line against Teheran. Bruce Harper is hitting .450 against the Braves righty with eight homers and 19 RBI. Odubel Herrera has hit three home runs off Teheran while Rhys Hoskins has three doubles against him.
  • ESPN and MLB.com rank the Phillies 10th in their final preseason power rankings. Here’s an excerpt from ESPN’s rankings:  It’s all on the table for a team that hasn’t posted a winning record since 2011. The offense should be one of the league’s best, especially if a certain high-profile free-agent acquisition pays off. The defense? Well, it can’t be worse, right? The bullpen looks strong, whether or not the Phils add to the back end. That puts the onus on a top-heavy starting rotation. 

Programming Information

  • First Pitch: 3:05 p.m.
  • Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • TV: NBC 10
  • Radio: SportsRadio WIP

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